Fear the CSS Brace!

Today at WE05 was awesome: More visionary presentations, more hilarious photos!

After more legendary presentations from Molly, Eric and Derek, I attended the Ajax session by Tim Lucas. I found myself wanting a bit more, but it was still VERY good.

Lunch came around, so I caught a cab to Found Agency. I got to meet Zak, the guy I talked to on the phone just over a week ago. He showed me around his office in Bondi Junction, and gave me a very in-depth insight into the world of SEO and Pay-Per-Click marketing. Basically, there is OMG HUGE money to be made — seeing some of the Google Adsense windows brought it to life. He also described something called A-B Testing: serving up two identical ads going to slightly different convert pages, observing the difference that the slight difference made, and deciding to keep that change. Zak said that click through conversion can be increased phenomenally just by iterating through this every 1000 clickthroughs.

I also learnt that there are three types of “SEO” people: Super Affiliates (those who partner with a company who wants to sell something and enter into a huge referral rate in the hundreds of dollars per customer), Pay-Per-Click marketeers (those who manage their adwords and search terms they appear on) and Hybrid marketeers (those who do both).

I also learnt that Google doesn’t really like what some Super Affiliates are doing sometimes, and that the Super Affiliates are listening to what Google has to say, including the rel="nofollow" microformat. It becomes obvious to me that the ones comment-spamming blogs don’t really know what they are doing; shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to Google.

I spent so long talking to Zak that I was late for the 2:15pm sessions. I really wanted to see Cameron Adams’ Javascript and the DOM session too. Oh well, there’s always the podcasts.

Thank goodness I made it back in time to catch Tantek’s Microformats session — fascinating stuff. I guess I already knew about XFN and rel=”nofollow” but I didn’t know that these were called microformats. Yay for learning! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then Jeffrey Veen got up and did yet another PHENOMENAL session giving us all the boost we needed to go back to our jobs and do this stuff we’ve been learning about. I’m totally pumped. I’m gonna go out back and kick that tree.

For some reason, because I was that-guy-who-did-the-blog-donation-box-to-get-to-WE05, I was given a collectable WE05 belt pouch for a digital camera or iPod or the like. Sweet! Thanks people!

The WE05 afterparty was at The Pumphouse in Darling Harbour. Putting my Flickrazzi hat on, I caught some hilarious moments of the presenters on NVRAM and have put them up on Flickr for all to enjoy, namely Doug Bowman dancing, Eric, John Allsopp and Mark Harris doing the WWW, Derek Featherstone getting drawn into a pint, Tantek searching for Wifi at a dance club, and Eric giving Doug in his patented “CSS Brace”

Tantek tells me that I can probably go find many of the places where scenes from The Matrix were filmed here in Sydney; something I was hoping to do, but didn’t realise actually how easy it will be — 10 minutes of Google Searching apparently… hmm…

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Sydney. Will I be back for WE06? Heck yes!

Oh, and don’t forget to keep the middle of May 2006 free in your calendars — a web conference in New Zealand is being planned, and you will highly desire coming along… but more on that later… ๐Ÿ˜‰

John C. Dvorak vs Creative Commons

I think John C. Dvorak, a prominent column writer for US PC Magazine missed the point of Creative Commons in his latest column. Did he even WATCH the flash animation? Has he read Free Culture? Screw him. He’s spreading FUD.

He would have learnt that Creative Commons is a way to grant everyone permission to use your works in certain ways without giving up your copyright, encouraging a world where you don’t have to hire a pack of rabid lawyers just to clear permissions. “Permission is already granted”.

Creative Commons is about encouraging creativity. Because creativity always builds on the past. But the past is wrapped up in red tape. So we have CC licences that allow those who would build upon your work to cut through that red tape.

It’s not hard to understand. Less Lawyers = Good Thing.

Sure, adding a CC licence to your blog might be ‘trendy’, and I can safely assume very few, people, if any, are going to take my blog posts and build something new and exciting from them. But what’s wrong with saying “I don’t mind if you do”, even if the chances of that happening are slim-to-none?

John C. Dvorak, I thought you were cool, working with Chris Pirillo on that book of yours and all. I do realise this is an opinion piece, but come on, it feels a bit premature. You really should do your damned research.